Nautilus International hosts debate on seafarer exhaustion and widespread abuse of Hours of Work and Rest after the World Maritime University finds that insufficient staffing levels are the root cause of exhaustion among mariners.
The maritime union, Nautilus International, recently hosted a webinar of high-profile experts who have challenged the shipping industry to address exhaustion at sea, after a damning report on work-related fatigue by the World Maritime University (WMU).
The report found that ultimate responsibility for exhaustion at sea lies with flag states and shipping companies, and Nautilus General Secretary, Mark Dickinson, said the report “must act as a springboard to secure real change for seafarers… I am absolutely determined that this report does not gather dust on the shelf.”
The webinar on 5th March was moderated by Lloyd’s List chief correspondent, Richard Clayton, who set the tone in his opening remarks, saying: “The shipping industry needs to tackle exhaustion and needs to do so quickly”.
One of the main problems identified by the WMU study was the routine “adjustment” of work records, and the leader of the research, Prof Raphael Baumler, said “fear is the main driver for the adjustment of records”, outlining a culture where seafarers faced blame if “the paperwork was not in order”.
Kattie Higginbottom, Chief Executive of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, which sponsored the research, said: “We cannot put the onus back on seafarers to deal with this themselves”, arguing that ‘fundamentally, it is all about manning and the buck stops with the flag states’.
The webinar was organised by Nautilus as part of its Fair Workplaces campaign. To find out more and how to get involved click here.